President Mustafa Urges UN Action in Response to Assad Regime’s Humiliation of People Being Displaced From Ghouta

The Assad regime forces executed a number of civilians, including a woman in the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta as heavy bombardment targeted the outskirts of the town of Douma.

Local activists said that pro-regime militants had executed four civilians, including a woman, and kidnapped women in the towns of Kafarbatna and Saqba following the withdrawal of rebel fighters to northern Syria.

President of the Syrian Coalition Abdulrahman Mustafa said that civilians who decided to stay in their destroyed areas than to be displaced are being subjected to revenge killings by the Assad regime’s militias.

Information coming from eastern Ghouta indicated that civilians who survived the brutal bombardment by the Assad regime and its allies are still in danger as Assad’s militias continue to commit war crimes in those areas, Mustafa said.

Mustafa called upon the UN Security Council and international organizations to force the Assad regime and its militias to respect international humanitarian law and to provide protection to civilians who chose to live amongst the rubble than to leave their homes.

Sectarian militias allied with the Assad regime carried out summary executions against 23 men and kidnapped five women in the town of Kafarbatna on Wednesday. Regime forces also detained 150 people in the town of Saqba, including head of Al-Bashaer relief aid group.

Eastern Ghouta has been the scene of the largest mass forced displacement and demographic change operations in Syria since 2011. These operations were preceded by large-scale war crimes against civilians by Assad regime and Russia forces who launched a ferocious onslaught on the area. Assad regime forces and their allies extensively used internationally banned weapons, such as chemical weapons, white phosphorus and napalm in blatant violation of international law.

The Syrian Civil Defense Corps said that 1,433 civilians were killed in eastern Ghouta as of March 24, adding that Assad regime forces, Russia and the Iranian militias used various types of weapons, including internationally banned ones in the assault on the besieged Damascus suburb.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 30.03.2018)

In Gaza, Israel turned Good Friday into bloody Friday

WhatsApp Image 2018-03-30 at 17.09.00

My 15-year old cousin Muhammad Abu Loz just got injured by gunfire from Israeli occupation forces at the Great March of Return, east of Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.

He was among thousands of Palestinians from all generations who have joined these marches in commemoration of Land Day, protesting against the longstanding Israeli colonial occupation and the denial of our inalienable political rights.

Israel met them with 100 military snipers.

My cousin survived, but my grandfather’s neighbor, Muhammad Kamal al-Najjar, 25, was shot dead. He is one of at least 12 people who had been killed by Friday evening.

More than 700, including 130 children, had been injured.

Since 30 March 1976, when Palestinian citizens of Israel led a popular uprising against Israel’s confiscation of huge swaths of their land in the Galilee, the anniversary has been marked as Land Day.

On that day in 1976, Israel also met civilian protesters with lethal gunfire, killing six and injuring and arresting many more.

Popular resistance

Four decades later, Land Day remains one of the most significant dates in the Palestinian political calendar – a day commemorated by popular resistance to ongoing Israeli colonial oppression, land theft and systematic policies of erasure.

In Gaza, Land Day demonstrations are held near the Israeli-imposed buffer zone, a strip of land inside the Gaza boundary that eats up 30 percent of the small territory’s farmland.

This buffer zone only tightens the Israeli chokehold over Gaza’s two million residents who are besieged by the Israeli military from land, sea and air.

From the north and east, Gaza is surrounded by Israeli artillery, tanks, snipers and military checkpoints. From the sea it is blockaded by Israeli warships that constantly fire on Gaza’s fishers, and from the south, the Egyptian military collaborates with Israel to maintain the closure of the Rafah crossing, the only lifeline to the outside world for most people in Gaza.

Sick with worry as I followed the day’s events from a distance, I called my mom in Gaza. I knew she had been looking forward to this evening’s celebration of her nephew Abed’s wedding, with drums banging as people joyfully sing and dance dabke.

My mom sounded overwhelmed over the phone. When I asked if the wedding was still on, she said yes.

“But given our neighbor’s devastating loss and your cousin’s injury, the zaffa [the celebratory procession] is canceled and the wedding songs will be substituted with revolution songs celebrating freedom fighters,” she said.

My parents, like other Palestinians, anticipated Israel’s violence today, but for them Israeli violence is constant, so carrying on with the wedding is not as strange as it might sound.  It’s a way to show that life goes on. Our daily lives are defined by paradoxes like this.

They also went to the place of protest in eastern Jabaliya yesterday to help set up the “return tents”, a recreation of 1948 Nakba Palestinian refugees’ tents which will remain rooted there until 15 May – Nakba Day – to call for our long-denied right of return to the lands from which we were expelled by Israel in 1948.

That right that remains at the core of our anti-colonial struggle.

This morning, they went to my grandfather’s house, where the wedding lunch was set to take place, not knowing that it would turn into a funeral.

Far from home

Our short conversation left me feeling further detached from my current place of residence in the UK, where the majority of people are celebrating Good Friday with their families in safety and happiness.

But in Palestine, Good Friday was stained with bloodshed and brutal violence, thanks to Israel.

There is no justification for Israel to open fire against protesters posing no threat whatsoever.

Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups warned that this is a crime.

There is no justification for suppressing people whose right to resist colonial oppression is guaranteed by international law. The fact that Israel has been able to continue this brutal violence against Palestinians with total impunity for 70 years reflects a deep-seated moral problem in our world.

(Source / 30.03.2018)

On Land Day, Israeli forces kill 14 Palestinians, injure hundreds more in Gaza

Land Day 14 Pal's dead

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot dead 14 Palestinians and injured over a 1,000 more along the Gaza border on Friday, as thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in “The Great March of Return” on the 42nd anniversary of Land Day.The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that 14 Palestinians were killed on Friday. They were identified as:

  1. Mohammad Kamel Najjar
  2. Wahid Nasrallah Abu Samour
  3. Mahmoud Abu Muammar
  4. Mohammad Abu Amro
  5. Amhad Ibrahim Odah
  6. Jihad Farina
  7. Mahmoud Rahmi
  8. Ibrahim Abu Shaer
  9. Abd al-Fattah Bahjat Abd al-Nabi
  10. Abd al-Qader al-Hawajri
  11. Sari Walid Abu Odah
  12. Hamdan Ismail Abu Amsha
  13. Omar Samour
  14. Bader Fayek al-Sabbagh

The ministry added that 1,272 Palestinians were injured. While the majority suffered from severe tear-gas inhalation, tens of Palestinians were injured with live ammunition, some critically.The ministry called on Palestinians across Gaza to donate blood at hospitals.

Leading up to the march, the Israeli army released a statement saying it had declared the border area along Gaza a “closed military zone,” meaning that any Palestinian who got close to the border fence could risk getting shot.
The Israeli army released statements on Twitter describing the protests as “violent riots.”
“17,000 Palestinians are rioting in 5 locations along the Gaza Strip security fence. The rioters are rolling burning tires and hurling firebombs & rocks at the security fence & IDF troops, who are responding w riot dispersal means and firing towards main instigators,” the statement said.
Despite the Israeli army’s claims, Palestinian activists and leaders in the Gaza Strip have maintained that the “March of Return” was organized as a massive non-violent, weeks-long protest advocating for the return of Palestinian refugees to their original homelands in historic Palestine, now present day Israel.
Leading up to Friday, the first official day of the march — which will continue until the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or catastrophe, in May — Palestinians set up tents along the border with Gaza, where protesters plan to stay until the Nakba anniversary.

(Source / 30.03.2018)

Israeli court refuses to release Sheikh Raed Salah

Sheikh Salah been refused his release

An Israeli court refused the conditional release of Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel.

According to the lawyer Khaled Zabarqah, Haifa District Court refused to release Sheikh Salah after Israeli Public Prosecution appealed against his conditional release.

The court’s order came following the Israeli Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan’s call for keeping Sheikh Salah in prison, the lawyer added.

Last week, the Magistrate’s Court accepted to release Sheikh Salah and to place him under house arrest.

According to the terms of his release, Salah will wear an electronic tag, be prohibited from using the internet or mobile phones, be banned from holding public meetings or giving speeches and has had a travel ban imposed on him.

“We will respond to the court’s ruling in the appropriate time,” Zabarqah said.

Sheikh Salah was arrested from his house on 25 August 2017 and was indicted nine days later by the Israeli Public Prosecution over incitement charges.

(Source / 30.03.2018)

Hamas: Trump’s deal of the century will not pass

Hamas Trump's deal

The Islamic Resistance Movement of Hamas reiterated, on the 42nd anniversary of the Land Day, that the US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” will not pass. The right of return is a constant right of the Palestinian people which will never be waived under whatever circumstances, he said.

The Hamas’s office of refugees’ affairs demanded, in a statement on Friday, that the Palestinian Authority protect the Palestinian uprisings, lift the siege on Gaza, support the steadfastness of the Gazan people, back resistance in the West Bank and Occupied Jerusalem and achieve unity and reconciliation.

The return of Palestinian refugees from diaspora has become closer than ever because rights will not be lost as long as there is resistance, Hamas said.

(Source / 30.03.2018)

West Bank marks Land Day

West Bank Land Day

Thousands of Palestinians on Friday took to the street as part of Land Day marches. At least 63 protesters were injured during the events.

In occupied Jerusalem, tens of thousands of worshipers performed Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque in challenge to Israeli Judaization festival to be held in the Umayyad palaces adjacent to the Mosque.

Israeli police and border forces have earlier intensified presence throughout the occupied city in an attempt to supress Palestinian Land Day marches.

In Ramallah, a number of injuries were reported as Israeli forces fired heavy teargas bombs and rubber bullets towards peaceful protesters in Mazra’a town west of the city.

Dozens of Palestinians also suffered different injuries as protests erupted in al-Bireh city.

Similar clashes were reported in Bil’in in protest against Israel’s apartheid wall. Foreign activists participated in the events.

In Nablus, at least six Palestinians were injured and others suffocated by teargas during Friday clashes broke out in the villages of Qusra, Kafr Qalil, and Beita to the south of the city.

The Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC) said Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel rounds to disperse the protesters, injuring three of them.

Meanwhile, PRC said three other protesters were injured as a result of falling when Israeli soldiers chased them as hundreds were demonstrating in the village of Qusra, to express anger over Israel’s decision to confiscate tracts of land in the village.

Israeli forces also used teargas to disperse the protesters, causing about 24 cases of suffocation from teargas inhalation.

Bethlehem has also witnessed a peaceful march in Walja town west of the city marking the Land Day amid large participation of local activists.

The Land Day is of special significance to the Palestinians because it was the first time since 1948 that Palestinians in Israel organized a collective response to Israeli policies. It is marked not only by Palestinians within historical Palestine, but also by Palestinians all over the world.

This year’s Land Day comes in the aftermath of widespread anger over US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which goes against the rights of the Palestinian people to an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

(Source / 30.03.2018)

Sakhnin commemorates Land Day

Sakhnin Land Day

Rallies set off in many Arab towns in Israel marking the Palestinian Land Day, with a major rally in the town of Sakhnin in the Galilee region.

In Sakhnin, protesters took to the street while holding Palestinian flags and chanting pro-Palestinian slogans.

The participants also visited the memorial of the six martyrs who were killed by Israeli gunfire while defending their land in 1976.

The Land Day is of special significance to the Palestinians because it was the first time since 1948 that Palestinians in Israel organized a collective response to Israeli policies. It is marked not only by Palestinians within historical Palestine, but also by Palestinians all over the world.

This year will also mark 70 years of the Palestinian catastrophe, the Nakba, and the forced displacement of 750,000 Palestinians, whose descendants now number millions living as refugees abroad or in the occupied Palestinian territories.

(Source / 30.03.2018)

Army kills Two More Palestinians, Injures Ninety In Gaza”

30 MAR
12:45 PM

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRC) has reported that Israeli soldiers killed, Friday, two Palestinians in the ongoing processions across the Gaza Strip, and injured at least ninety others, including three who suffered serious wounds. Earlier Friday, the soldiers killed a farmer in Khan Younis.

The PRC said the soldiers killed a young man, identified as Mohammad Kamal Najjar, 25, with a live fire, east of Jabalia, in northern Gaza.

Mohammad was from Tal az-Za’tar area, in northern Gaza; eyewitnesses said the soldiers fired live rounds directly targeting him.

Furthermore, the soldiers killed Amin Mahmoud Moammar, 38, from Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, also after shooting him with live fire.

The PRC added that at least 54 Palestinians were shot with live fire, and dozens suffered the effects of teargas inhalation.

Among the wounded Palestinians are ten, including a young woman, who were shot with live fire, east of the Zeitoun neighborhood, southeast of Gaza city; most of them were shot in their legs, and suffered moderate injuries.

At least seven Palestinians were shot with live fire, east of Khan Younis, in southern Gaza Strip, 4 in nearby Rafah, and were rushed to Nasser Hospital, the European Hospital and Abu Yousef Najjar Hospital, while dozens more suffered the effects of teargas inhalation.

At least four other Palestinians were shot east of Jabalia town, and two others north of Beit Lahia,

and Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza.

Reports from the Red Crescent in Gaza revealed that, so far, the soldiers shot with live fire 10 Palestinians in Gaza city, 20 in Jabalia, 8 in Deir al-Balah, 12 in Rafah, and seven in Gaza Younis.

The reports do not include many Palestinians, who are receiving treatment in field clinics, which were installed in several parts of the Gaza Strip.

The injuries and fatalities took place in six areas in the besieged Gaza Strip, after thousands of Palestinians marched on their lands, marking the Palestinian Land Day, and protesting the ongoing illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine, including Jerusalem.

The processions started following noon prayers in the coastal region, and were attended by thousands of Palestinians, and political leaders, including Yahia Sinwar the head of Hamas movement, and its Political Bureau leader Ismael Haniyya.

|Israeli Government Issues “Shoot To Kill” Orders in Preparation for Friday Protests|

Thousands of Palestinians are still gathering in the five allotted areas of nonviolent protests, nearly 700 meters away from the border fence, east of Sheja’eyya neighborhood in Gaza city, east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza, east of Rafah and Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, and Abu Safiyya area, east of Jabalia, in northern Gaza.

Several protesters burnt posters of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and U.S. President Donald Trump, east of Gaza city.

Earlier on Friday morning, the soldiers fired tank and artillery shells at Palestinian farmers, east of the Al-Qarara area, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, killing one, identified as Omar Wahid Nasrallah Sammour, 27, and seriously wounding another.

On Thursday evening, the Palestinians installed tents 700 meters away from the fence, east of Gaza city, while medics installed mobile clinics, especially since the army is preparing to use live ammunition against the nonviolent protesters.

It is worth mentioning that the army infiltrated cellular networks in Gaza, especially phones owned by organizers of the processions, and tried to provide false information regarding places of protests.

Updated From:
Army Injures Seven Palestinians In Gaza
Mar 30, 2018 @ 10:06

Israeli soldiers shot, on Friday morning, seven Palestinians, including a young woman, in various parts of the besieged Gaza Strip, just as the Palestinians started the nonviolent processions on their lands, hundreds of meters away from the border fence, in several parts of the coastal region.

Medical sources said the soldiers shot three Palestinians in the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza Strip, one in Rafah, in southern Gaza, and three others in Jabalia, in the northern part of the coastal region.

The Israeli attack came just as the nonviolent processions were starting in the Gaza Strip, while the Palestinians were hundreds of meters away from the border fence.

On Thursday evening, the Palestinians installed tents 700 meters away from the fence, east of Gaza city, while medics installed mobile clinics, especially since the army is preparing to use live ammunition against the nonviolent protesters.

It is worth mentioning that the army infiltrated cellular networks in Gaza, especially phones owned by organizers of the processions, and tried to provide false information regarding places of protests.

Earlier on Friday morning, the soldiers fired tank and artillery shells at Palestinian farmers, east of the Al-Qarara area, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, killing one, identified as Omar Wahid Nasrallah Sammour, 27, and seriously wounding another.

The fatal Israeli attack, and the injuries, came shortly after the Israeli military, and the political leadership in Tel Aviv, have decided on “shoot to kill orders” against Palestinians who breech, or even approach the border fence.

The Israeli Cabinet also decided to significantly increase military deployments, in addition to using live fire and shoot to kill orders “if the Palestinians breach (or approach) the security fence” in the besieged coastal territory.

On Thursday evening, the soldiers shot seven Palestinians, near border areas east of Khan Younis, and Gaza city.

(Source / 30.03.2018)

B’Tselem: Gaza not “combat zone”, shooting at demonstrators a crime

29 MAR
11:18 PM

B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights In The Occupied Territories: Ahead of the Palestinian demonstrations planned to start tomorrow (Friday) in Gaza, Israeli officials have repeatedly threatened to respond with lethal force.

Completely ignoring the humanitarian disaster in Gaza and Israel’s responsibility for it, they are couching the planned protest in terms of a security risk, framing the demonstrators as terrorists and referring to Gaza as a “combat zone”.

Fragments of information reported by the media indicate that: soldiers will be ordered to shoot anyone coming within 300 meters of the fence; snipers will fire at anyone touching it; live fire will be used also in circumstances which are non-life-threatening. In other words: shoot-to-kill unarmed Palestinians taking part in these demonstrations.

Israeli forces have already been lethally shooting Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza for some time. In December 2017 alone – the most lethal month in the last year – Israeli forces shot and killed eight unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza.

Expanding this unlawful use of live fire will undoubtedly raise the death toll. Yet this predictable outcome appears not to have affected Israeli decision-making regarding the response to demonstrations in Gaza, both in general and specifically in formulating the open-fire orders.

Further, Israel’s presumption that it can dictate the actions of Palestinians inside the Gaza Strip is absurd. The decision where and whether and how to demonstrate in Gaza is not Israel’s to make – not with regard to tomorrow’s demonstrations nor in general with regard to daily life.

Official Israeli statements have made no reference to the actual reason for the protest – the disastrous reality in Gaza – or to the right to free protest. Israel has the power to immediately change life in Gaza for the better, but has chosen not to do so. It has made Gaza a huge prison, yet forbids the prisoners even to protest against this, on pain of death.

(Source / 30.03.2018)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Two Children In Jerusalem

30 MAR
1:44 AM

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Thursday evening, two Palestinian siblings, only 8 and 10 years of age, from their home in Beit Hanina neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem.

The soldiers claim that the two children “hurled stones at their jeeps,” on Road #20, near their neighborhood, and abducted them before taking them to an interrogation facility, without legal representation.

The two children have been identified as Amir, 8, and his brother Hatem Abu Rmeila, 10.

Late on Wednesday at night, the soldiers abducted a child, identified as Mohammad Majdi ‘Atiya, from is home in the al-‘Isawiya town, in the center of Jerusalem.

He was among thirty-one Palestinians, including children and a mentally -challenged teen, who were abducted by the soldiers from their homes in several parts of the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem, on Wednesday at night and Thursday at dawn.

(Source / 30.03.2018)